Connect with us


Hershey Works On Solo Bid For Cadbury



The Hershey Co. is assembling a bid to acquire British candy maker Cadbury PLC without the help of Italian candy maker Ferrero International, a person familiar with Hershey’s plans told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the company that bid first, American food giant Kraft, continued to defend its offer and issued an earnings forecast that may have been intended to show off its strength.

Hershey has been working on two parallel bids for Cadbury, one with Ferrero and one on its own. But Ferrero reportedly has withdrawn. Hershey is still crafting its own potential bid, one designed to top the $16.5 billion hostile offer from Kraft Foods Inc., the person familiar with Hershey said.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorised to speak publicly about the matter, said Hershey hoped to avoid a bidding war by waiting until Cadbury’s shareholders make a decision on Kraft’s bid.

Kraft has until February 2 to win support from a majority of shareholders. It said last week that it had received acceptance from holders of 1.5 percent of Cadbury shares to date. Kraft’s deadline to increase its bid is January 19.

A spokesman for the maker of Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s peanut butter cups said that, as a matter of policy, the company does not comment on merger and acquisition issues.

Cadbury shares rose, adding 12.5 pence, or 1.6 percent, to close at 789.50 on the London Stock Exchange. Hershey shares fell $1.14 to $36.61 in trading Wednesday.

An Italian business daily reported Wednesday that Ferrero International SA is no longer interested in bidding for Cadbury. The paper, il Sole 24 Ore, cited unidentified sources close to the family-run Italian firm.

Ferrero did not comment on the report.

Any bid for Cadbury would involve bringing jobs and assets to Hershey, while voting control of the company would remain with the charitable trust set up by its late founder, Milton S. Hershey, the person said.

In addition to borrowing money, a Hershey acquisition of Cadbury may require the issuance of new shares. However, the Hershey Trust Co. has maintained that it will not give up control of the company, a stance that analysts say limits the company’s flexibility to grow through a merger.

In November, Hershey and Ferrero told the London Stock Exchange they were considering an offer for Cadbury but cautioned one might not materialise.

Without a well-financed partner, analysts question how Hershey, America’s most recognisable name in chocolate, alone can afford the acquisition of the larger Cadbury.

Hershey posted revenue of $5.13 billion in 2008, while Cadbury reported $7.8 billion in 2008.

On Wednesday, Kraft maintained that it would be the best partner for Cadbury. Kraft shares fell 6 cents to $29.23.

If Kraft does win Cadbury, it would combine the world’s second-largest food maker with one of the world’s largest confectioners.

But Kraft, based in Northfield, Ill., is under pressure from its biggest shareholder, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, not to sweeten its offer with more shares, which he believes are undervalued. And it’s unclear what move Kraft will make now.

Analysts,  worrying Kraft will overpay if it gets into a bidding war and wouldn’t see long-term gains from an acquisition as a result,  have been cautious.

Cadbury has staunchly opposed a Kraft takeover. On Tuesday, Cadbury’s brass again urged shareholders to vote against the deal and criticized Kraft’s business model.

But Tuesday’s boost in Kraft’s full-year profit outlook was the second in two months. After logging profit gains, Kraft now expects to report earning at least $2 per share for 2009. It earlier forecast profit of at least $1.97 per share. The new outlook is in line with analyst expectations, but some analysts were critical.

“It’s a blatant attempt to spin the news,” said D.A. Davidson & Co. analyst Tim Ramey. Kraft moved its guidance to meet Wall Street expectations on a quarter that ended two weeks ago, he said.

Kraft may also be setting the stage for a graceful exit from bidding for Cadbury.

Continue Reading


NASRDA Moves To Promote Space Technology In S’East



In its quest to boost creativeness of space technology and its innovations among Nigerian youths, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) through its Southeast Advanced Space Technology Applications Laboratory (SE-ZASTAL) has commenced a turn-round space technology applications promotion among the secondary schools in the region.
The Coordinator, SE-ZASTAL, Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Mr. Andrew Onwusulu, made this known while declaring open a training outreach held for 442 students at the main hall, Federal Government College, Okposi, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi state.
According to him, “the space applications promotion outreach was part of activities designed for the secondary students to sharpen their intellectual capability in science and technology innovations”.
Tagged “Capacity building for young minds: Benefits of Space and Technology Applications”, the outreach, he explained, “will forever remain in the minds of the students who participated in the training based on series of lectures and skills benefited”.
The principal of the School, Mr. Frank O.A. Omale, in his opening address thanked the agency’s new DG, Dr Mathew Adepoju, through the SE-ZASTAL Coordinator, Mr. Onwusulu Andrew, who outlined the significance of the training as a means of expanding the knowledge of Space Science to the people at the grassroots.
Mr. Omale urged the students to be serious with their studies, describing it as a great opportunity for FGC, Okposi, to be selected first, on the list of the schools mapped out for such training in the Southeast States.
In his remark, the Principal of the School, Mr Omale Frank, observed that no nation can survive the present struggles without  adequate involvement in space technology and its innovations.
He, therefore, charged Science students to rededicate their time to deep reading and aligning with current trends in technology, which he said remain very pivotal to national development.
Other instructors which included Engr. Chinedu Akarugwo, focused on the topic, “Basic Space Science and Technology of SE-ZASTAL”, and Miss Precious Ugwu with the “Space Careers”, as well as Engr. Agu John-Paul Okechukwu, who taught on, “Understanding our environment thorough earth observation”, all highlighted the impacts of Space Science researches and innovations in the environment.
During the training session, the students also had opportunities to access the SE-ZASTAL’s facilities to test, and were also exposed to the activities of NASDRA in other States, such as The National Centre for Remote Sensing, Jos, Centre for Basic Space Science, Nsukka, Enugu State; Centre for Atmospheric Research, Anyigba, Kogi State, Ile-Ife, Lagos.
Some of the students who shared their experiences after the lecture, including an SSS2 student, Okorie Ifeanyichukwu Timothy, described the training as “well-organised”, noting that it would stimulate students’ interest in the technical aspects of promotion and its applications.
Another student, Ogbonna Confidence A., urged the government to support teachers and researchers in the agency, expressing her willingness to take her time to visit the Agency’s headquarters and other NASRDA offices during holidays.
Continue Reading


SEC Directs Capital Market Operators To Implement ERM Framework 



The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has mandated all capital market operators to implement an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework that aligns with internationally recognised standards.
In a statement issued on the Securities and Exchange Commission website, the SEC said these standards include those set by the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission, the International Organisation for Standardisation, and the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations.
It added that this initiative aims to bolster risk management practices within the capital market, minimize systemic impacts, and safeguard stakeholders’ interests.
“All capital market operators are hereby directed to implement an enterprise risk management framework that conforms to international standards, such as the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO 31000), Financial Action Task Force Recommendations and any other internationally recognised risk management standards.
“Adoption of comprehensive risk management practices is imperative for minimising systemic impact and safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders”, the statement explained.
According to the commission, the new ERM framework requires CMOs to consider their operational structure, business activities, client demographics, products, services, and delivery mechanisms.
It noted that the framework must include a comprehensive risk governance structure with clear roles and responsibilities, including the establishment of a risk management committee.
To ensure accountability and oversight, the SEC directed CMOs to define their risk appetite, tolerance statements, and consistent reporting to senior management and the Board of Directors.
It added that organisations must implement risk-awareness programmes to cultivate a culture of risk management throughout their operations.
“This directive is aimed at strengthening the implementation of risk-based supervision, including anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures in the capital market.
“Consequently, all CMOs are required to submit a Board-approved risk management policy (selectable and searchable PDF format) on or before September 30, 2024, via email at to obtain a ‘No Objection'”, it stated.
The commission noted that the directive was part of its broader strategy to enhance risk-based supervision in the capital market, including measures for anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, and countering proliferation financing.
It also asked CMOs to submit an annual risk profile by January 31 of each year.
Continue Reading


Firm Combats Fraud Through Data Technology 



A digital technological firm, the Visa,  has concluded plans to protect sensitive data for individuals, saying its technology helped to save about $650 million that could have been lost to fraudsters  in 2023.
A statement from the firm revealed that the technology, known as Visa tokens, generated more than $40 billion in incremental e-commerce revenue for businesses globally.
The statement added that Visa would continue to enhance security across the payment ecosystem through the technology, known as tokenization.
“Visa, a world leader in digital payments, recently announced a significant milestone achieved by its tokenization technology, revealing that Visa tokens have generated more than $40 billion in incremental ecommerce revenue for businesses globally and saved $650 million in fraud in the last year”, the statement explained..
Visa also announced it has issued more than 10 billion tokens since the technology’s launch in 2014.
“Over the last 10 years, Visa has further enhanced security across the payment ecosystem through tokenization, a technology that replaces sensitive personal data with a cryptographic key that conceals sensitive payment data.
“Tokenization can be embedded into any device, making digital payments more secure while being virtually useless to scammers.
“Currently, 29% of all transactions processed by Visa use tokens, reflecting their widespread adoption and the trust consumers place in this secure payment method.
“Tokenization technology has also caused a six-basis point increase in payment approval rates globally. Overall, tokenization can reduce the rate of fraud by up to 60%, providing businesses with more successful transactions and offering much-needed peace of mind to consumers and merchants of all sizes.
“Visa, announced the milestone live onstage at Money20/20 in Amsterdam recently, issued its billionth token in 2020. Due in part to the shift to digital during the pandemic, the adoption of tokens accelerated significantly in the last four years.
“Today, over 8,000 issuers are enabled for tokenization, with over 200 markets empowered with the technology globally. In the last 12 months, over 1.5 million eCommerce merchants transacted with Visa Tokens every day.
“A recent Visa survey revealed that less than one third of consumers globally feel in control of their data, and only slightly more than one third fully understand how their data is used.
“However, Tokenization can unlock a whole new era of personalization and security, one where consumers control their data and approve when and where it can be shared for a more personalized experience.
“In the not-too-distant future, Visa data tokens could help merchants and commerce platforms use your data in a way that is both transparent and gives you control, meaning you decide who gets access to your data (and when they no longer do) as well as how your data will be used.
“Powered by AI, Visa data tokens let consumers view, consent to, and revoke data sharing access, right from their banking app”, the statement posited.
Corlins Walter
Continue Reading